– Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
I’m Paul Parry, the author of two self-published books, Pazzabaijan and Mr Lizard. My next book will be out later in 2019.
– What is/are the story(ies) behind your book(s)?
Pazzabaijan is about my ten-year journey from being clueless and facing redundancy to working in a different industry as a sub-editor in Baku, Azerbaijan at the European Games – work that I love to do.
Mr Lizard teaches young teens about how we think and how to deal with the little voice inside our heads.
– What inspires/inspired your creativity?
Lots of things but primarily my family, my goals and music.
– How do you deal with creative block?
It’s never been a problem, fortunately.
– What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Probably ignoring your reader: who they are, how old they are, what level of education they’ve attained, what they’re reading your book for, and so on. Also, it’s worth asking yourself what you want your reader to think, feel or do when they’ve finished your book.
Another mistake is not using a good editor. Even though I edit for a living, my books still need someone else to do a job on them.
– Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
Hire a professional to design your covers, and choose a title that reflects the story and/or the message and will resonate with your ideal reader.
– How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
First, I consider if a piece of feedback or a review has come from someone who the book was meant for or understands what I’m trying to achieve with it. Then, if it has, I’ll think about what they’ve said or written but try not to let it stop me from writing more in the future.
– How has your creation process improved over time?
I’m more focused now on giving readers value than simply writing to get something off my chest.
– What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
The worst thing is the time it takes to write a book, in between working to pay the bills and spending time out of the office. The best thing is knowing that a lot of what will end up in my book is already written – in my blog posts, for example – or they’re stories I’ve retold many times so almost write themselves.
– Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I try to balance the two. I’ll always write because I need to write so I might as well try to serve a group of people at the same time.
– What role do emotions play in creativity?
For me, they play a massive role. I write my books from the heart, and emotions are at the core of everything I do with them.
– Do you have any creativity tricks?
I’m not sure they’re tricks as such but this works for me: I allow myself time to relax with a pen in my hand and music in my headphones, often in the middle of the night or before my family are awake in the morning. I like those times because there’ll be no knocks on the door and the phone’s not going to ring. Then I write for three hours without judgement or editing – those come later.
– What are your plans for future books?
I’d rather not say because I’ve learned from experience that when I share plans about future books I end up not writing them. These days, I stick by the idea that if I want people to hear or read what I have to say, I have to commit it to paper first.
– Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I blog every day at paulparry.com/blog, I work at major sporting events including the Olympics, and I was once overtaken by a person dressed as a Womble – a fictional, pointy-nosed British children’s TV creature – when I ran the London marathon in 2013. Also, my second cousin, Patti Parry, was Elvis’s hairdresser and the only female member of the Memphis Mafia.